Maintenance instructors at JB Charleston, S.C., are educating the initial cadre of Indian air force maintainers to operate the C-17 transport before delivery of India’s first C-17s next year. “We are learning the basics of the aircraft as well as the technical manual,” said IAF student Junior Warrant Officer Prakash Chand in a Nov. 8 Charleston release. India ordered 10 C-17s to replace its elderly fleet of IL-76 airlifters. Boeing plans to deliver the first of these airframes next year and complete the order in 2014, company officials have said. In the meantime, the 373rd Training Squadron Det. 5 that oversees C-17 training at Charleston is teaching about 100 Indian airmen every aspect of the new airlifter’s use. “These Indian airmen are going to be the ones standing up the initial C-17 unit,” explained TSgt. Paul Higgins, instructor with the detachment. The first students were scheduled to graduate this month, according to the release. (Charleston report by SrA. William O’Brien)
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.